Antonio Morassi dates this trio of panels (lots 85-87) to the artist's mature period, c. 1770-80 (loc. cit.), noting that they were painted with much care ('con molto cura'). An analogous set of three capricci, painted on a similarly precious scale, is in the National Gallery, London (A. Morassi, op. cit., no. 1009), and is dated by Morassi to the following decade. It remains to be established whether Guardi painted these delightful panels for his local Venetian clientele, who were particularly fond of the artist's capricci, or for Grand Tourists, who generally gravitated toward his larger compositions. Guardi often repeated his most successful motifs, and many of the elements found in the present designs appear in other notable compositions. The central architectural features such as the sarcophagus, colonnade and associated arch of lot 85, for instance, are found in larger canvases such as those in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London and the Stanford Museum, Palo Alto (A. Morassi, op. cit, nos. 706-7). A preparatory drawing for lot 86 is in the Museo Correr, Venice, (A. Morassi, Guardi: tutti i disegni, Venice, 1975, no. 484, fig. 485).